Sunday, August 02, 2009

What I Did Today

Here's what I did today:

I've been messing around with some Illustrator tutorials. The above is the end result of one of them.
It's actually a screen capture of the image, as every time I tried to export the Illustrator file to another format, portions of the image ended up missing.
Beyond that, it being Sunday, I did/am in the process of doing the laundry.
Yesterday I made the usual trip to the comic shop followed by grocery shopping. Eventually upon getting home I ended up taking a three hour nap.
After getting up I watched some recorded TV, then ate dinner - the leftovers of the pizza I'd ordered on Friday night (Me, talking to my stomach: Yes, I'm perfectly well aware of the fact that you're hungry; why do you think I ordered the pizza, dumbass?) - then thought about either doing some tutorials or some actual drawing, thought better of it, and watched a movie (Superbad).
In between all of that I'd decided that I should probably update the software/firmware on my iPod Touch, so I installed iTunes on Munin, and even went so far as to get around to creating an account in the iTunes store. I saw that there was an update to the software available, was dismayed that I had to actually pay for it, swore, and then set to downloading the upgrade. I left that going while I went off and did the other things mentioned above.
Whenever you decide to let a task, such as moving files, run unattended in Windows, there's a better than 50% chance that something will go wrong with it, and when you return, expecting to see the task long-finished, you'll find that little or no progress was actually made in your absence.
This most likely will be the result of some dialog box popping up while you were away and demanding your attention before the task can proceed.
One thing I've learned about Apple software is that there is a 100% chance that something will go wrong if you leave a task running unattended. This isn't because of a dialog box popping up, it's because the software will just stop working. While the Windows issues are annoying, once you finally click on the appropriate option in the dialog box usually the task will resume. Not so with Apple products.
Years ago when I worked at Suomi College, we didn't have any sort of campus network. This meant that if I wanted to get online, I had to use dial-up. More to the point, because we also didn't have any money, this meant that I had to use my personal dial-up account.
On my Windows 95 machine at home, I could launch the dial-up connection, get up and go to the kitchen or bathroom or whatever, and come back to find that I was connected.
With the Mac I had at work, if I launched the dial-up connection and left my office, I would come back to find that my computer had completely locked up pretty much as soon as I left, a frozen image of the dialer software saying "Dialing" floating in the middle of the screen.
This didn't happen every time, granted, but it was probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 80-90% of the time.
It's led me to wonder sometimes if Apple software developers somehow manage to build in a clingy need for validation and attention in their software, making it like a kid getting ready to jump into a pool and saying, "Hey dad, watch me! Watch me, dad! Dad, watch me! Are you watching? Dad, you're not watching!"
In any case, I downloaded the update for my iPod. and left sometime after it started backing up the contents of the iPod in preparation for the install.
When I came back several hours later, there was a window saying "Preparing to restore iPod" on the screen, and it was clear that it had been there for hours and that it wasn't actually doing anything.
After forcing the software to close, I disconnected the iPod - which was now stuck in "Recovery Mode" - and restarted. Plugging the iPod back into the computer led to iTunes telling me that the iPod was stuck in "Recovery Mode" and that I needed to push the "Restore" button onscreen before doing anything. Doing this the first time led to iTunes locking up. The second time brought back up that "Preparing to restore iPod" window, which sat there doing nothing. I went through this cycle several times before clicking the "Restore" button actually led to something happening.
Having learned my lesson, once it actually started working, I sat there and watched the whole process with the defeated resignation of a father watching his kid clumsily belly-flop his way into a pool.
After that I did finally start a tutorial, the results of which will likely show up in another picture someday, before finally calling it a night.
And that brings us into today.

1 comment:

Merlin T Wizard said...

That's an awesome analogy. I prefer the Macs are cats and PCs are dogs one, but the dad at the pool was funny.